Hiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space Loop

Hiking Trails in Colorado | Ridgeline Open Space Loop

Trail Information

Hiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space Loop

Trail Name: Ridgeline Open Space Loop

Location: Near Castle Rock, Colorado

Date: November 23, 2019

Time at the Trail Head: 2:00 pm

Trail Length: 2.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 360 feet

Elev. at Trail Head: 6,486 feet

# of Hikers Passed: 2

# of Mnt. Bikers Passed: 0

# of Horses Passed: 0

Mosquitoes: 0

Trail Research

I recently moved to Castle Rock, Colorado and some of my new neighbors told me about several places to hike nearby. One of the places they told me about was the Ridgeline Open Space, so I opened up my AllTrails App, checked it out, and then opened up AllTrails on my laptop.

Hiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space Loop

I found that the Ridgeline Open Space trailhead was within 0.5 miles of my home and there were two trails to choose from.

I didn’t have the time to hike the 9.0 mile loop but I knew I could fit in the 2.3 mile Ridgeline Open Space Loop. I will take the longer loop soon.

Drive to the Trail

The drive to the trail was on a city street but was pretty, even though it only took me 1 minute to arrive at the trailhead.

If you are driving from Denver or Colorado Springs, you will see some beautiful bluffs in the area, in addition to Castle Rock and the Rocky Mountains off in the distance.

Hiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space Loop

The trailhead is about 3 miles from I-25 and there are several easy ways to arrive at the parking lot.

The bluffs around Castle Rock blocks many of the Rocky Mountain views to the west and southwest but the views to the northwest and north are grand, in my opinion.

My Day on the TrailLeki Trekking Poles

We had a recent snow storm which left about 3 inches on the ground two days prior to this hike. I guess you can’t call 3 inches a snow storm, but then again, that depends on where you’re from.

I experienced 4 falls on a recent hike so this time I came prepared with Yaktrax and trekking poles, even though I wasn’t sure I would need them. I’m thankful I brought them along as the trekking poles were extremely helpful, but my Yaktrax never made it out of my daypack.

Immediately, I could see the trail was going to be a soggy, snowy and a slippery mess. I felt that I didn’t need the Yaktrax but I immediately put my trekking poles to good use. More then 50% of the trail was muddy and the trekking poles helped me as I slipped in the mud plus helped me to hike up in the snow alongside of the trail to help me stay out of the mud a little.

I was wondering if there would be any great views from this trail but it didn’t take long for me to get my answer. I crested the hill to see a beautiful view of the Rockies to the northwest and north of Castle Rock. You could basically see from the area from Mount Evans, all the way north to Longs Peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).

Hiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space LoopHiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space LoopHiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space Loop

I always love seeing the grand views of the Rockies and today was a beautiful clear day with impressive views. The only thing is you can’t see much of the southwest and south Rockies down to Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

There are a few homes in the hills around the Ridgeline Open Space but they are spread and don’t detract from the views.

Hiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space Loop

I continued around the loop and did not see any views to the southwest until I made it to the highest point on the trail. I was able to see the magnificent views to the northwest again and I was finally able to see the top part of Pikes Peak.

Hiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space Loop

There are several lower mountains and bluffs around Castle Rock that block out part of the Rocky Mountain views.

Hiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space Loop

Side Note: This is one of the reasons my wife and I are considering buying a home in a different area so we can either be in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains or be farther away from the mountains where you can see the Rockies from the south, near Pikes Peak to the north, near Longs Peak, with Mount Evans in the middle.White tail Buck

There are not many trees in this area but it is a nice trail with some great views and even some wildlife to watch, if you pay attention and try to be a little quiet. I saw a large buck with a rack that most hunters only dream of seeing, or most likely, mounting over their fireplace.

The trail is easy to hike but on this day I would rate it as moderate, due to the mud and snow. It may be difficult for some hikers if you don’t have the right gear, which could either be Yaktrax and/or trekking poles. You can check out the ICETrekkers and Leki Trekking Poles I use HERE.

Sale
ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats (1 Pair), Medium (Men's 6.5-9/Women's 7.5-10)
  • Shoe grips designed to provide aggressive traction in winter walking conditions
  • Made of case-hardened steel alloy and strung on steel aircraft cable
  • Riveted to tough rubber sling that fits tennis shoes, boots and dress shoes
  • Sling remains elastic even in subzero temperatures to keep grips secure
  • Self-clearing design prevents snow and ice buildup
LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Pole Pair
  • Exclusive AERGON grip features a hollow core construction to save weight and create an edgeless, rounded grip for comfortable gripping at all angles especially for "palming" on steeper terrain. Thermo foam grip material for extra comfort, light weight and insulation in colder weather. Built in 8deg Positive Angle in LEKI grips keeps wrist in neutral position and provides more efficient pole plants.
  • Air-textured "no bulk" security strap maintains design dimensions of grip; efficient wicking and fast drying; adjusts and secures strap adjustment without buckles. Extended foam grip for traversing and climbing. SPEEDLOCK 2 lever locking mechanism is simply THE strongest external locking system in the world as rated by TUV, and the only locking systems to meet the minimum holding force recommended by TUV.
  • 100% High Modulus Carbon shaft sections for reliable, lightweight performance in all conditions. PE coated, Kevlar reinforced tension cord for long term reliability. ELD (External Locking Device) gives easy access to release the assembly tension of the pole for quick knock down and packing. Maximum tension between shaft sections made possible by internal (serviceable) spring in lower shaft.
  • Carbon section ends are protected by machined Aluminum sleeves for extra long wear. Machined Aluminum connectors help to center shaft sections for quick, snag free assembly. LEKI's original Carbide Flextips provide secure hold on all terrain and surfaces for years of adventure; easily replaced in the field.
  • Interchangeable basket system allows a variety of different sized LEKI baskets to be easily screwed on/off for different seasons/uses thanks to offset threads that keep the baskets securely in place.

I only saw two hikers on the trail today and this is not the norm for this area but most people don’t like to hike in the mud and this trail had plenty of it due to the recent snow storm and warmer temperatures in the few days after the storm.

Note: We are getting hit with another real snow storm tonight that is scheduled to dump from 1 foot to 3 feet of snow over the Denver area. Follow up note: We were blessed with 13 inches of snow and due to the cold temperatures, all 13 inches are still with us 5 days later.

I really liked this trail as it was easy to access and had some great views of the Rockies. There was some road noise near the city street but that quickly went away as I made my way around the trail.

Trail Recommendations

I would recommend this trail to people nearby who want a nice nature walk and want to see some beautiful views of the Rockies. It is an easy hike and one I will often make, as it is nearly outside my back door.

Hiking Trails in Colorado Ridgeline Open Space Loop

I would recommend other trails in the area over this one that have better views of the Rockies and have more trails to choose from, such as Castlewood Canyon State Park. It has views of the Rockies, combined with beautiful views of canyons and a creek.

Lessons Learned

I really didn’t learn any new lessons on this hike with the exception that this was my first hike using my Leki trekking poles and it may a huge difference in my ability to stay out of the mud and have confidence to walk in the snow on the slopes of the trail, which I couldn’t have done with out the poles. See the Leki trekking poles I use HERE.

Leki Trekking Poles at Amazon

You can see the video of my hike at the Ridgline Open Space Loop here:

I would love to hear your experience with the Ridgeline Open Space Loop or any other trail that you love to hike. Please leave a Comment below or send me an Email.

 

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SaleBestseller No. 1
ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats (1 Pair), Medium (Men's 6.5-9/Women's 7.5-10)
  • Shoe grips designed to provide aggressive traction in winter walking conditions
  • Made of case-hardened steel alloy and strung on steel aircraft cable
  • Riveted to tough rubber sling that fits tennis shoes, boots and dress shoes
  • Sling remains elastic even in subzero temperatures to keep grips secure
  • Self-clearing design prevents snow and ice buildup
Bestseller No. 2
ICETrekkers Shoe Chains (1 Pair), Medium (Men's 6.5-9/Women's 7.5-10)
  • Gloves, Eyewear, Ear Protection, Masks & Clothing
  • Constructed with case hardened, individually TIG welded steel links
  • Comfortable prolonged use
  • Durable rubber sling remains elastic in sub-zero temperatures
  • Easy on & off
Bestseller No. 3
Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats for Walking on Snow and Ice (1 Pair), Medium
  • Lightweight and affordable slip on traction cleats to reduce the risk of falls when walking on snow or ice to work, school, or even to the mailbox
  • Made of abrasion resistant 1.2 millimeter steel coils with zinc coating to prevent rust: secured to shoes with durable Polyelastomer outer band
  • Provides 360 degrees of traction on cold surfaces for all direction stability
  • Highly elastic outer band with heel tab slips easily slips on and off of shoes; perfect for pedestrians, professionals and the elderly
  • Available in XS (Extra small) S, M, and L sizes to fit most shoes
SaleBestseller No. 4
Yaktrax Diamond Grip All-Surface Traction Cleats for Walking on Ice and Snow (1 Pair), Large
  • Durable traction cleats fit over shoes and boots to provide superior traction on snow and ice on all surfaces
  • Patented diamond beads are made from case hardened steel alloy strung on steel aircraft cable; Hundreds of biting edges grip in all directions
  • Natural rubber sling remains elastic and secure even in sub zero temperatures; Easy to put on and take off; Comfortable for prolonged use
  • Beads swivel independently, preventing buildup of snow and ice making them ideal for transitioning between surfaces like gravel, dirt, and concrete.
  • Available in s, m, l, xl, and 2xl to fit most shoes and boots, including insulated footwear. Weight 8.3 - 11.9 oz. per pair
SaleBestseller No. 5
ICETrekkers Spikes Traction Cleats (1 Pair), Small/Medium (Men's 3.5-7.5/Women's 5-9)
  • Size: small/medium
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Spikes are made with tungsten Carbide
  • Highly durable tungsten carbide spikes in an all steel housing
  • Very effective on icy surfaces and packed snow

Ridgeline Open Space Loop

6.2

Scenic Drive

6.0/10

Accessibility

10.0/10

Mountain Views

7.0/10

Lake or Stream Views

0.0/10

Well Maintained Trails

8.0/10

Pros

  • Easy Access from Castle Rock
  • Great Views of the Rockies
  • Easy Trails to Hike

Cons

  • No Creeks or Lakes
  • No Views to the Southwest or West
  • Traffic Noise from City Street

10 thoughts on “Hiking Trails in Colorado | Ridgeline Open Space Loop”

  1. I absolutely love this article! Even though I’m not a hiker, I appreciate the thrill of a nature walk. Breathing crisp fresh air and soaking up the gorgeous views. Do you listen to nature as well, or do you listen to music? I think I’d want the full experience, including the smells of the plants and dirt. You and your wife are so blessed to have a trail that close to your home. I wish you both plenty of happy walking and sight-seeing!

    1. Hi Cathy. We both love living here in Colorado, and i can’t wait to get out to a new trail each week. We’re getting ready for another hike on Sunday, just west of Colorado Springs.

      I don’t listen to music or watch TV much but I always take time breath deeply while on the trail. I love smelling the pine trees and sage while out in the Rockies.

      It takes time to write these trail reviews and create the trail videos but I love looking for new trails and sharing them with everyone.

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Rick

  2. Hello, great website! There’s so much content I would love this if I was going hiking in Colorado! 
    The first thing I wanna point out is that on the first post ridge line open space loop, when you press on some of the pictures it takes you to your personal recommendations, which is perfect, also the last post that’s up now you can press on the pics that takes you to a castle dam encyclopedia article. But the posts in between you can’t press on any of the pics to take you anywhere. Maybe you can change that just so it’s more consistent. 

    I learned that page titles can be highlighted when your traffic clicks on them so they know where they left off. Maybe you can do that for posts too. It’s under appearance in menu tab I believe.

    Everything else looks fantastic on your page! Maybe you can tell me how to be able to click on my pictures to take my traffic somewhere, I’m sure I’ll learn it soon I’m getting to that point now.

    1. Hi Heather, making your pictures clickable is a personal preference. I have used it some but lately I have been leaving links by text.

      All you have to do is click on the picture and select edit and then choose to past your link as a URL.

      I’m glad you actually mentioned that because I did not mean to have my personal recommendations linked to the trail pictures.

      Thanks,

      Rick

  3. Hi! I’m visiting Colorado.I’ll be here for 4 months and friends have also encouraged me to go hiking. They want to go to the Ridgeline Open Space Loop, so I came online to research. I’m glad I found this post. It’s nice to learn so much about this trail even before starting the excursion. 

    1. Hey Ann, The Ridgeline Open Space Loop is really easy to get to but there are also some other great trails on my site. Most of them are close to the Denver area.

      let me know if you have any questions or would like some recommendations.

      There is another easy trail called the Bluffs in Lone Tree, that is easily reachable and has some great views of the Rockies and Denver to the north.

      Castle Wood Canyon State Park also has some great trails with great views south of Franktown, Colorado.

      Rick

  4. I’m a photographer and I like to go hiking. I live near the area and I want to take some nice pictures of the beautiful views of the Rockies. So I’m planing a day out to Ridgeline Open Space Loop. I have been inviting some friends to join me and I have been researching. I’m glad I found your site. Thanks for all the information here.

    1. There are a few other locations that another photographer told me about. I met him up on the Chief Mountain Trail near Idaho Springs, Colorado. I’m not sure if Chief Mountain is reachable at this time as we received over 2 feet of snow in the area.

      There are several other trails to consider near Conifer, and they are the Legault Mountain Trail and Mount Falcon.

      Let me know if you like any these trails for your photos.

      Rick

  5. That looks like a hike I would like to take and at a time of year too, when there is less people on the trail. One of these days I will make it out to Colorado. There are some great craft beer micro breweries I also want to check out. Would be great if there was one near a trail head.

    I do a lot of hiking here in New Jersey and in New York, mainly on and near the Appalachian Trail and the old Cannonball Trail which General Washington’s Continental Army used to transport supplies between West Point in NY and Paterson in NJ during the Revolutionary War.

    Rarely do I go hiking on the Appalachian during the winter. The first time I did I had to make my own walking sticks from fallen branches to prevent from falling. I immediately went out and bought some Foxtelli sticks. I like those Yaktrax you recommend. Do they have a snug fit? How is the grip when walking on mostly ice or hard packed smooth snow?

    That video you made was great and you are lucky to live so close to some hiking trails with nice views. That Castle Rock is interesting looking. Reminds me of a miniature Devils Tower in Wyoming. Do they have hiking trails going up and around the Castle Rock? I bet there are some great views from up there too.

    1. It only took me 4 falls on a trail near Conifer, Colorado for me to go and purchase Yaktrax IceBreakers and Leki Trekking Poles. I haven’t fallen on a trail since making those purchase…and using them on several trails.

      The IceBreakers are meant for hiking and have a extremely snug fit but there are several sizes to choose from so it also depends on you choosing the correct size. They grip really well on snow and ice but are even better when you combine them with trekking poles.

      You can hike up to Castle Rock but I’m not sure if you can only hike to the base, near the top, or if you can actually make it to the top of the rock. They have a lit star up there right now, so I’m thinking it may be closed at the top, especially in winter. 

      My wife just informed me that I was going to need to hike to the top of Castle Rock and see if I can reach the top. I’ll let you know in a future post.

      Rick

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